Climate change perceptions, adaptation and mitigation strategies of livestock farmers in the Teso region Uganda
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Agriculture on which the majority of the population in Teso depends as a livelihood source is prone to negative effects of climate change. This study is about a determination of local farmers understanding of climate change and its adverse effects on livestock production and community livelihood. Data collection was by both qualitative and quantitative methods involving the use of structured household questionnaire and Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) tools such as focus group discussion and key informants interviews. Findings from the study reveal that the climate change experienced is extreme weather manifesting in the form of drought and floods due to precipitation variations whose frequency of occurrence have become alarmingly high. This has impacted negatively on livestock production. In addition, some minimal adaptation strategies have been employed with a high degree of limitation due to the prevailing poverty situation, inadequate knowledge and limited alternative livelihood sources. Some coping strategies have a potential positive feedback effect on climate change with likelihood of aggravating the impacts; these include clearing of forest land and vegetation for more cropping land, cutting down trees to provide fuel wood and charcoal sold to urban centers and towns as a source of income and encroachment of wetlands in times of drought. As with many developing countries, the study reveals that the communities in this region are very vulnerable to climate change impacts thereby threatening the achievement of millennium development goals of eradication of extreme poverty.